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Pura Taman Ayun, Bali

  • Indonesia straddles the Equator between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean
  • With 18,110 islands, 6,000 of them inhabited, it is the largest archipelago in the world
  • With almost 240 million people, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world
  • Indonesia also has the largest Muslim population in the world
  • On the western rim of the Ring of Fire, Indonesia has more than 400 volcanoes, of which 130 are considered active, as well as many undersea volcanoes.
  • The sole official language is Indonesian, known as Bahasa Indonesia.
  • The main staple is rice (nasi), served up in many form. Soups (soto) and watery curries are also common.
  • In Indonesia eating with your hand (instead of utensils like forks and spoons) is very common. The basic idea is to use four fingers to pack a little ball of rice, which can then be dipped into sauces before you pop it in your mouth by pushing it with your thumb.
  • There’s one basic rule of etiquette to observe: Use only your right hand, as the left hand is used to clean yourself in the toilet. Don’t stick either hand into communal serving dishes: instead, use the left hand to serve yourself with utensils and then dig in.
  • The most significant time of the year is the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan. During its 30 days, devout Muslims refrain from passing anything through their lips (food, drink, smoke) between sunrise and sunset. People get up early to stuff themselves before sunrise, go to work late, and take off early to get back home in time to breaking of the fast at sunset.


  • Fossil remains indicate that 500,000 years ago the Indonesian archipelago has already been inhabited
  • It is believed that the modern population came from the Austronesian people who migrated to South East Asia from Taiwan.
  • The spread of Islam in the country started in the western region of the archipelago.
  • By the end of the 16th century, Islam is the prevailing religion in Java and Sumatra.
  • The early 16th century, European (Spanish, Portuguese, British, Dutch) voyagers began exploring the archipelago.
  • In the early 1900’s, Indonesia’s struggle for independence begun through the formation of its first nationalist movement. But the Dutch imprisoned those who supported these political activities including Sukarno, the country’s first president.
  • The effects of WWII and the Japanese offensives finally ended the Dutch era.
  • Sukarno and Hatta declared independence on August 17, 1945 after the surrender of Japanese emperor in the Pacific.


    Tropical Jungle on the River, Borneo

  • Of the ten largest islands in the world, three are located in Indonesia.
  • Indonesia is the fourth largest country of the world, in terms of population.
  • Indonesia is counted amongst the largest producers of nutmeg in the world.
  • The local name of Indonesia is ‘Tanah Air Kita’, which means Our Land and Water.
  • The national motto of Indonesia is ‘Unity in Diversity’.
  • Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, comprising of five main islands – Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Irian Jaya.
  • Indonesia is home to some of the rarest creatures in the world, including miniature deer, fish that climb trees to catch insects and spiders that catch and devour small birds in giant webs.
  • Indonesia spreads over the “Ring of Fire”, situated in the Western Pacific. It has over 400 active volcanoes and bears over 3 earthquakes per day.
  • Java Island of Indonesia is one of the initial places in the world where ape-man lived. Even the skull of an ape-man was found buried in ice there.
  • The Sangiran Early Man Site’, situated in Indonesia, has the status of a World Heritage Site and has served as home to around half of the world’s hominid fossils.
  • Marco Polo was one of the first Europeans to visit Indonesia.
  • Indonesia is home to the Komodo dragon, the largest lizard in the world.

Avg. Costs

Komodo National Park

  • A complete street-side meal can be had for under US$1 (IDR 10,000).
  • Even if you dine in decent local restaurants, you still won’t be spending much more than US$10 per day (around 70,000 IDR per meal) on food.
  • A restoran indicates more of a Western-style eating experience, with air-conditioning, table cloths, table service and prices to match. Especially in Jakarta and Bali, it’s possible to find very good restaurants offering authentic fare from around the world, but you’ll be lucky to escape for under 100,000 IDR a head.
  • Beer – A can costs 10,000-14,000 IDR in a supermarket, 50,000 IDR in a fancy bar
  • Cigarettes – A pack of decent kretek will cost you on the order of 9000 IDR


Click here to see The Economist’s Big Mac Index.  It is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.


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Tanah Lot Temple

  • Most places in Indonesia may be relatively free of violent crime, but not of theft.
  • You will run the risk of getting your pockets picked, so use one wallet with just a little money in it, and keep a larger amount in your shoe or on a security belt.
  • If you’re keeping belongings safe in a hotel, get a receipt.


Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on  Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.


Terrace Fields

  • The climate of Indonesia is almost entirely tropical.
  • The uniformly warm waters that make up 81% of Indonesia’s area ensure that temperatures on land remain fairly constant, with the coastal plains averaging 28°C, the inland and mountain areas averaging 26 °C, and the higher mountain regions, 23 °C.
  • Indonesia has no spring, summer, fall, or winter, just two seasons: rainy and dry, both of which are relative (it still rains during the dry season, it just rains less)
  • While there is significant regional variation, in most of the country (including Java and Bali) the dry season is April to October, while the wet season is November to March.
  • In the highlands temperatures will naturally be cooler, and there are even snow-covered peaks in Papua.
  • Bring along a jacket if planning to visit Mount Bromo on Java or Tana Toraja in Sulawesi.

Places to See

Toraja Houses

The Prambanan Temples

  • The temples form the largest temple complex on the Indonesian island of Java
  • Constructed around AD 900, the compound was deserted soon after it was completed, possibly due to the eruption of nearby Mount Merapi
  • The temples were restored in 1953 and now form one of the world’s great Hindu shrines
  • There are 224 temples in total, but the site is dominated by the imposing figures of the three main temples: the Brahma Temple, the Vishnu Temple and the Shiva Temple

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Gili Islands

  • Just off the northwestern tip of Lombok are these three irresistible islands with deep-water coral reefs, beachfront bungalows, and miles of white sand beach.
  • If it’s all too quiet for you, all-night dance parties are not far away.

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Istiqlal Mosque

  • Located in Jakarta, Indonesia
  • It is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia in terms of capacity to accommodate people and building structure
  • This national mosque of Indonesia was built to commemorate Indonesian independence

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  • An inhabited island in the middle of Lake Toba, Samosir was once a volcanic crater, 900m (3,000ft) above sea level in Sumatra. The island is home to the Batak people, an ancient tribe who preserve many of their traditions.

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Tsunami Museum

  • This museum, in the province of Aceh (one of the areas worst hit by the 2004 tsunami), is an educational centre that will also be able to serve as an emergency disaster shelter in case the area is hit by a tsunami again.




Ujong Kulon National Park

  • The park is located at the western-most tip of Java, Banten, Indonesia
  • It includes the volcanic island group of Krakatoa
  • In addition to its natural beauty and geological interest, it contains the largest remaining area of lowland rainforests in the Java plain
  • Several species of endangered plants and animals can be found there, the Javan rhinoceros being the most seriously under threat

View Map


Communication Etiquette:
• Greetings can be pretty formal to show respect
• Handshake is the most common form of greeting
– They may place their hand on your heart or blow after shaking hands
– If there are many people there – introduce yourself to the eldest person
• Titles are very important because they signify status
• They are indirect when trying to communicate
– They won’t always say what you mean
• They speak quite softly
– Loud people are viewed as aggressive
• Business is personal

Business Etiquette:
• Business cards are usually exchanged during the initial greeting
– They should display your title
– Having one side printed in Bahasa is a sign of respect
– Treat them with respect
• Initial meets are focused on getting to know one another
• Things are not rushed
– Everything has a time and place
• Pressure tactics will backfire
• Business attire is conservative
– Women – dress very conservatively and be sure to be covered from ankle to neck
– Men – Light weight suits very conservative

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